Friday digest (3.19.2021)

Who do I have to bribe to get some sunshine up in here

I’m writing this on Thursday night in the awkward gap between my last meeting and when class starts. It’s been raining all day and my head feel like it weighs a million pounds, which my mom says is barometric pressure sensitivity and typically affects old people and teenagers (which one am I?). Atmospheric pressure did hit a several-week low today, so I will accept this confirmation bias confirmation. Also, my department just sent out an email to all the graduating seniors providing them with custom Zoom backgrounds for graduation. Bleak.

Here’s what’s good:

1. Tweet

2. Been listening to the classic

The Holy Bible by Manic Street Preachers (1994)

You know it, I know it, it’s a fan favorite for a reason.

3. Escape Room by Lucciana Costa

Hobart After Dark (HAD) prints poetry and other stuff that I can best describe as under 600 words and comfortably deranged. This fragment from Costa about being trapped in a Harlan Ellison-type Escape Room From Hell made me certifiably Laugh Out Loud.

If you don’t read HAD yet, what are you doing?

4. Turbulent flow through teapot spouts

I hadn’t realized how much spout shape can affect the flow out of a teapot, but now that I have, I can’t not think about it every time I pour coffee out of my teapot. Look at the difference between the chunky turbulent flow and the smooth laminar flow of the high-quality teapots:

Yes sometimes I make my drip coffee into a teapot which is not strictly cancellable but is probably not what you should do. I don’t have a coffee pot though and I think the form is similar enough that it should be ok? Opinions welcome.

5. Caffeine dosing schedule based on your level of sleep deprivation

A team of researchers at the Department of Defense created this web tool that you can use to generate a schedule for when and how much coffee you should be drinking, based on when and how long you sleep for and what your threshold for attention/performance is.

You have to make a free account to use it, and the user interface is very 2003, but it’s easy enough to figure out. When I put in my sleep schedule and used the default desired alertness, it tried to tell me I don’t need to be drinking any coffee, which is false, probably because it doesn’t have a space for you to input whether you have a crippling chemical dependency.

After messing around with the alertness threshold I was able to get it to caffeine quantities I was satisfied with (two cups in the morning). You can also set your desired “peak alertness hours” and see how much coffee you should drink if you’re sleep deprived. I trust it at about 30% (all of this HAS to be dependent on body size, metabolism, age… right??) but it’s fun to look at squiggly lines:

The paper describing the site and the studies it’s based on is here.

6. Find of the week

In sticking with the theme:

Yours caffeinated to the jitters,

N